Sammy Marks’ Museum

Museum in Pretoria

This handsome mansion, 20km east of central Pretoria, was built in 1884 for the industrial, mining and agricultural magnate Sammy Marks. Now it’s a fascinating museum that you can only enter on a tour (around five a day, each lasting an hour). It's worth visiting also for the lovely grounds with a shady tea garden overlooking the house.

Marks (1844–1920) was born into a poor family in what is now Lithuania and made his fortune in South Africa. His will stipulated that the house and all its contents not be sold on for three generations – hence the amazing collection of furnishings and personal effects inside, most of which date back over a century. This is as close as you'll get to a South African Downton Abbey.